et-tu, corona?!?

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I decided that I’m going to document my experiences with this Covid-19 pandemic here on the blog.

I’ve started screen capping the John’s Hopkins page so I can compare numbers from day to day. It’s quite informative.

As I think back, I’ve been following Coronavirus/Covid-19 since December at least, because my brother works for a Chinese furniture company and travels to Asia six to eight times a year. He’s based in North Carolina. “Is coronavirus affecting your travel schedule?” I asked him a few times over the holidays. “No. Not right now.”

Chinese Tariffs forced his company to pull a lot of their production out of China into Vietnam over the past year. So he wasn’t scheduled to fly anywhere near ground zero.

On Friday, his Chinese leadership forced strict standards on their NC and Canadian offices. Stricter than anything I’d heard of so far at the time. His leadership is using the internal information from Wuhan’s containment procedures to inform their business practices here.

Meanwhile, I’ve been watching our business dates drop off our schedule. We are primarily interiors and architecture photographers. We just saw a big job on Tuesday postpone indefinitely. Another job is still on for the time being. As soon as we finish what’s on our docket we will be driving down to North Carolina hoping the weather and less density of population might be advantageous.

We live in Chicago, but own a house in NC that we Airbnb. Every booking we had has cancelled because the events the guests were planning have been cancelled. We’re small business owners with no major income scheduled in any foreseeable future. I can’t imagine what so many others are going through. Fortunately, we have a bit of a buffer that we can live on. So many do not.

My brother-in-law is a 50 year old, house music DJ. For as long as I’ve known him, his main source of income is a Sunday night show at one of Chicago’s largest house music venues. On Sunday, our governor and mayor shut down bars and restaurant gatherings for the next two weeks. So if he can’t work to pay rent … he’s screwed. His business is a record store that he takes no income from.

Like all of you, we’re reading and hearing rumors. Palmer House Chicago is operating at a measly 5% capacity. We just heard a rumor that Illinois might close schools for the remainder of the school year.

Apart from my brother and his family, our NC friends and family are much more skeptical than in Chicago. My brother reported that some church parking lots were packed yesterday (Sunday, March 15) as well as a fun house, trampoline place for kids. He was shocked.

The Ides of March never had such a dismal meaning since Mr. Ceasar was attacked.

Et-tu, Corona?

I’m having trouble concentrating on the work we do have. We watched movies and read all weekend. Maybe had a few too many beers!

I have a ton of library books on my iPad. If you don’t borrow books digitally, this might be a GREAT time to start. I hear that some states are experiencing their local libraries are closing.

I also wanted to keep in mind that it wasjust two weeks ago (!!!) that Trump was calling this a “hoax”.

Now he’s on board, daily briefings, and in charge of shutting the whole country down.

I spoke with one person who claimed Trump jumped on this so fast. That’s not what the facts show.



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